Turkish police arrested thirteen suspected members of Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) during a security operation in the cities of Istanbul, Ankara and Adana on January 13.
According to Anadolu Agency, some of the suspects traveled to Syria and fought with HTS, while others were involved in raising money for the terrorist group. One of the suspects was identified as Baskani Hasan Suslu’nun, a chairman of Fukara-der charity organization.
Turkish authorities are still looking for three other suspected members of the terrorist group who managed to avoid arrest.
The operation coincided with the deployment of additional Turkish troops and battle tanks along the border with the Syrian governorate of Idlib, which is controlled by HTS.
Turkey designated HTS, the former branch of al-Qaeda in Syria, as a terrorist organization under a presidential decision last August. The original name of the group “the al-Nusra Front” was placed on the Turkish terror list several years ago.
This security operation presents a major shift in Turkey’s policy towards the terrorist group, which has been operating on the country’s borders for years now. This shift was likely caused by the recent HTS attacks on Turkish-backed militants in Aleppo, Idlib, Hama and Lattakia.
The Russian need to create a prison in Siberia isolated islands and request Turkey to hand them over?
Crackdown shmackdown – Turkey could have easily stopped HTS in its tracks at anytime since the defeat of the Nour ad-Din az-Zenki gangs weeks ago. Pretty obvious that Turkey sanctioned HTS to take-over, by agreement not battle the main FNL strongholds of Ma’rat Numan etc..
and so it begins.
Erdogan desperately needs a way out of Idlib. Because endlessly sponsoring, last stand, jihadist-militants who can no longer remotely impact Damascus, contained in Idlib, is a waste of his political and financial resources. Yet Erdogan has trapped himself with his own Sunni-centric self-grandiosity – he needs an exit strategy whereby he doesn’t appear to be abandoning these very jihadist-militants in the eyes of the broader Sunni world he seeks to influence.
Answer – stand back and allow HTS – an internationally recognized al-Qeida terror group – to take control of the greater swathes of Idlib. Result -Erdogan is not responsible for this faction and has no obligations to support or protect them. Thus, Erdogan can politically wash his hands of the jihadist-militant mess he has so fully sponsored for bulkof the last decade – and try come out of the other side to formally re-establish diplomatic relations with Syria-Russia-Iran. Erdogan is a self-serving political survivor above all else.
A well thought out analysis.
oooooooohhhhhhhhh, that one is going to leave mark!!! :P
Well if they arrest all “FUNDERS” of HTS than they can arrest Erdogan as well
Turkey will not capitulate to the Allewites, Hezbollah or the Iranians. Turkey remembers its history and envisions its future to approach or exceed the glory of its past. The Turks have warred with Russians, Iranians and all stripes of Shia before, and prevailed. Fundamental interests do not change. Turkey is also the northern front of the Sunni resistance to Shia Iran which naturally allies with Allewite Shia Syria. Erdogan will not sacrifice his status in the Sunni world by acting like a woman or a fool. The Al Quaida occupiers of Idlib have much common interest with Turkey Sunni power and are in league with Erdogan in opposition to Syria. Idlib and Afrin will remain under Turkish control.